There are few other countries which can offer such an amazing range of scenic beauty as Argentina and Chile can. The central parts of Chile and Argentina – densely populated in both countries – are still reminiscent of the Spanish colonization. The climate with its Mediterranean character provides the natural preconditions for the flourishing of famous Chilean and Argentinian wines but also for different exotic fruits, such as avocados and cherimoyas.
The Aconcagua (or „Cerro Aconcagua“, it’s full name) reaches 6,962 m and is thus not only the highest mountain of the entire American continent but in fact the highest mountain on earth outside of Asia. Its name is probably of Indian origin and could stem from the Quechuan „Ackon Cahuak“, which roughly translates as „Guardian made of stone.“
Swiss mountaineer Matthias Zurbriggen was the first to successfully reach the Aconcagua’s peak via today’s normal route in 1897.
The Aconcagua normal route, which is also called the „first ascent route“, follows the Horcones valley, unlike the 360° route, which follows the Valle Vaccas. The base camp is reachable in approximately 1.5 days of hiking. However the fast ascent should not be underestimated. The regular base camp, Plaza de Mullas, accommodates numerous tents and organisations. The ascent is made via the high camps Plaza Canada (4,500 m), Nido de Condores (5,000 m) and Colera (6,000 m). Starting from the last high camp, the final part of the ascent is undertaken together with the 360° Aconcagua expedition. The faster ascent and the easier organisation are the reasons why the ascent over the normal route is more cost efficient.